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August 14, 2020

4/29/2020 1:04:00 PM
Statewide COVID study begins
The Indiana State Department of Health has teamed up with Indiana University's Richard Fairbanks School of Health at IUPUI to conduct a study to measure the spread of coronavirus throughout statewide.

"I'm very excited about this," said Jennings County Health Nurse Pam Petry, who said her office learned late Friday that a testing unit was to be dispatched to the North Vernon Walmart this past Sunday.

"It's unique. We're one of the first states in the U.S. to be testing for antibodies," which would indicate whether or not a person has had COVID-19 and recovered, and to test random people for the virus itself, she said.

Researchers began the study in all 10 of Indiana's health districts on Saturday.

In the 9th District, testing was conducted in Decatur County Saturday, Jennings on Sunday, Scott County on Monday and Clark County on Tuesday, concluding with testing in Floyd and Harrison counties on Wednesday.

Petry said Eli Lilly and IU will be processing the nasal samples from those tested and will report their findings directly to ISDH and the Fairbanks school.

Similar testing will be repeated in May and October this year, and in April 2020, she said.

"This is going to give us a better idea of where we're at" in the counties and in the state, she said. "To me, this is exciting. This is exactly what we need to be doing. We're moving in the right direction, and we have to move forward."

An ISDH news release states researchers will notify selected participants by mail, phone, text or email. The process is intended to create a random sampling of Hoosiers during each of the four rounds of testing planned.

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